Before I dive into today's post, I would like to thank those of you that commented on Monday. I realize that not everyone was in as much of a productive mood that I was, and that Monday is probably not a good day for the more serious posts. I probably should have saved it for later in the week, but I wanted to strike while the iron was hot. I would encourage anyone feeling energized today to go back and comment on that post, if you have something to add, as I'm sure we would all love a few more views on the subject.
I have lived in Boston for two and a half months now, and while I have not been a social butterfly, I have been making my rounds. Sadly my personal issues (family, apartment, unemployment) have gotten int he way of me becoming an active part of the community here; part of any of the communities. I have been lurking around the parameter though, taking notes for my inevitable entrance into the gay community here. This is my normal tactic, being a wallflower first, before entering a group dynamic, but I usually am more active about doing it. As someone who doesn't fit very well into a set group (not gay, not straight, not a nerd, not a jock, not popular, not a loser) I have always needed to be flexible in my social movements, and I'm usually sucessful. By the time I enter a group dynamic actively, I know exactly what to expect, and that comforts me, I guess.
Here are some of my observations about gay life here in the city based on two and a half months of semi-active examining. Some of these observations may not be correct. They are all based on my experiences so far. I'm sure in a year's time I will have different things to say.
1. There isn't much of a defined gay community.
This is not to say that there isn't a gay community, there is. There are a lot of LGBTQ individuals in Boston, as one would expect in a larger population group. What I mean here is that the gay community doesn't separate itself wholely from the community at large. I don't actually see this as a bad thing, just a different thing. While there are definitely traits that set the LGBTQ Bostonians apart from the rest, you're more likely to find a mixed sexuality group of, say nerds (for example), than you are two groups of gay and straight nerds. Red Sox fans, aside from being awesome, don't segregate. I've seen gays down at the Cask N' Flagon as well as straights and once the beers are opened and the game is going, no one really cares who you are unless you support the wrong team.
2. Gay bars aren't what they say on the tin.
I haven't made my way to all the gay bars in Boston, but I have been checking things out as best I can. One thing I think goes for a lot of the trendier gay bars in the area is that you are not going to hook up there unless you are extremely attractive. This isn't because only shallow people populate them (though depending on the crowd, any bar can fall into this trap), but more because a lot of the club-like bars in the area are dominated by the young gay men who have brought their straight female friends for a night of drinking, dancing, and talking about boys. While this isn't a new thing (we all know about fag hags even if we hate the term), what it does is open the door to too many straight people. The gay bar no longer is a gay bar, just a bar that gay people like, and oh, they alway know what is trendy so we should go there while in town. So instead of dancing with some nice guy you're eager to buy a drink, you're shuffled around the floor by women there dancing with their gal pals because they are too scared to dance somewhere where guys might try to flirt with them.
I think the problem is more the age group than the city. By that I mean, when I go to the bars for the young twenties, this is what I see. I haven't been to any of the gay bars populated by the older crowds, though I definitely want to. I know there is a gay sports bar that sounds great, and I've been informed of various karaoke opportunities, which I love to take whenever I can get a drink in me first. So hopefully my take on this subject will change.
3. If you like bears, come check out our bears.
I am a fan of all body types, but can I just say, "Wow, look at all these handsome bears we have here!" I've managed to meet a bunch since moving here, and even become friends with a wonder bear of a man, and the bearcandy just doesn't stop. We've got thinner otter types, wolves, big and burly, chubby; we got it all. If you are shopping for bears, this is a great stop. If you like the idea of a sexy lumberjack, bearded with flannel, keeping you warm at night, you can probably find one around here. In fact, I have been entertaining notions of snatching myself one for the cold winter months ahead. Maybe it is just because I hang out with a handsome, charming, oh-so-sweet bear, but I really have been seeing more than a few of them. Even the straight guys have a nice muscular furry look. Scruff abounds in Bean Town, dear readers.
Those three observations are what I have so far. I'm sure you're thinking, "That's it? After two and a half months?" Let's just say the time spent on research is probably more like three-quarters of a month and leave it at that.